Burgers I have eaten in America
Part of our expanding expose on why many Americans need airplane seatbelt extenders
Perhaps the most excessive thing I have ever enjoyed eating
The Single Bypass Coronary, Vortex, Atlanta, GA
This is the Single Bypass Coronay burger that I fully devoured at Vortex Bar and Grill in Midtown, Atlanta, GA. Let's push aside the full pound of fries and tots covered in cheese sauce and bacon bits and discuss the architecture of this marvel.
Besides the half pound patty, cheese and bacon, it also features a fried egg. You may notice the bun is actually two grilled cheese sandwiches with bacon. So in effect, they've take several normal sandwiches and made a giant super-sandwich!
Do you think they have a Double Bypass, a Triple Bypass, and a Quadruple Bypass? Is the Pope Catholic?
Ozark Mountain Daredevil
The Smokehouse Burger, Flat Creek Grill, Cape Fair, MO
This is the Smokehouse burger that I also fully engulfed at the Flat Creek Grill on the lakefront of Table Rock Lake in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri. My in-laws have a place there, and we always take a boat ride up the creek when we visit. While the bun is an actual bun, do note the remaining presence of the fried egg, bacon and cheese, with sliced pickles, jalapeno peppers, and at least two onion rings, in the sandwich proper. Somewhere in the monkey pile is some barbecue sauce that lends the 'smokehouse' indentity of this behemoth. 10/10 would manga.
Not for the faint of heart
The Sobelman's Bloody Masterpiece, Sobelman's Pub N Grill, Milwaukee, WI
The daughter went to Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI. Not only is Milwaukee known for what we in the states call "beer" but also for a variety of pubs grilling up great burgers. The original location of Sobelman's Pub N Grill is close to campus, so we went there for each visit. I heartily recommend their namesake bacon cheeseburger, or their Hangover burger with the fried egg topping.
This, this isn't the Sobelman Burger. This is the Bloody Masterpiece. A measly stalk of celery is far to meager to stir the Masterpiece, no. There's shrimp, brussels sprouts, okra, cherry tomato, a pickle spear, a length of summer sausage, and yes, a hamburger.
Do you think this is the most excessive bloody mary you've ever seen? Probably. Do you also think this is the most excessive bloody mary Sobelman's make? NOT EVEN CLOSE. But that's a topic for another day.
The only "food challenge" I have ever participated in. (I have my dignity)
The Premium Ethyl 4 Pound Burger Challenge, R-Place, Morris, IL
This is the Premium Ethyl 4 Pound Burger served at the R-Place truck stop in Morris, IL. I spent my twenties there, and this was the place to be once the bars closed at night. I was never asked to leave, which puts me in somewhat of a minority among my buddies.
The burger itself is a straightforward affair; 2 pound pattie; 1 pound of fixings; 1 pound bun, baked in house. No time limit, finish it and it's free and you get your picture on the wall. Not even a t-shirt.
Many years ago, my friend Butternutts and I went there in the morning and each got an Ethyl. I actually enjoyed the first 60% of my burger. The last part was rough, but we both plowed through. I got into his truck to make the seven minute drive to the golf course, where we were scheduled to play a round.
I was asleep by the time we got there. In fact I was still asleep after Nutts came back from 18 holes and post-game beers. I really didn't wake up until he turned on his turn signal to make a left into the parking lot of the hospital that he was taking me to.
Don't brisket the beef
The Brisket Burger, Ford's Garage, Dearborn, MI
DRIVETRIBE TIE-IN!! The Ford company, as in the cars and trucks, have a chain of restaurants called Ford's Garage, mostly in Florida, for whatever reason. I went to the one and only Michigan location in Dearborn, by their HQ after touring the Henry Ford Museum. I had the Brisket Burger. It is not a burger formed with brisket meat. It is a burger, along with bacon, raw and cooked onions, with slices of brisket on top (somewhere).
It was a mess, honestly.
I know, above, that I crowed about the big Vortex burger made out of several smaller sandwiches. And I also add bacon whenever permissible. But I can't do brisket, corned beef, pastrami on a burger. I've seen burgers with a fried chicken patty on top of it. Actually, I saw that harbinger of doom at the last place I'm talking about today.
This is not parody. This menu is 'Murrican Fire
The Fried Mac Daddy Burger, Lotawata Creek Southern Grill, Fairview Heights, IL
Behold the Fried Mac Daddy Burger, an actual 'Murrican atrocity available every day at the Lotawata Creek Southern Grill of Fairview Heights, IL.
This isn't the biggest burger on the menu, or the craziest. It's just the one I had.
You might expect to be served bottles of beer in a tin bucket. And they do. How about sides of french fries or onion rings? In the same damn bucket? Their slogan is "A Lota Nice People Serving A Lota Food". The Big South Burger menu includes: the Ooey Gooey Cheesy Cheese Burger; the Big Heart Attack Burger, the HOT MESS Cheese Burger (uppercase theirs) and last but not least, the Lotawata Royale, which has not one but two fried eggs atop!! The whole rest of the menu follows suit.
They were very nice people and the food is freshly cooked and delicious. But, and I even mentioned it to my server, I asked if whoever created the menu was completely sincere or was this supposed to be funny? She looked at me like I was four types of snob. Maybe I am.
The Big Finish
All three of the Wise Men of Drivetribe have incorporated the stereotype of the fat American into their act. The Hamster is sometimes called Richard "Cheeseburger" Hammond because he fancies big, wide American muscle cars. James has commented that, as Jeremy has become paunchier over the years, that he "almost looks American." Jeremy was once seen flirting with a female fan on the set of the BBC car show, saying "you cannot possibly be American? You're too fit!"
Fact is, based on the evidence I've provided thus far, the pork tenderloins, the Chicago Dog, deep-dish pizza, and now these unholy stacks of saturated fat, it is very difficult for me to argue that Americans do care about food quality as well as quantity. But we appreciate fresh ingredients and imaginative recipes as much as you do, and more. Much more. We just don't have much restraint over here, for better or worse. Nothing is unnecessary. Less is less. Only more is more.
Next time: attack of the giant chickens!